For our complete coverage on the Land Use Element, click here.
Photo courtesy of Brandon Richardson/LBBJ.
As a writer, my city is important to me. As a previous outsider, Long Beach welcomed me, my pen, and my not-so-subtle opinions—that’s one of the many reasons I adore it so: we are a welcoming city, a blend of cultures and ideals and philosophies and peoples, and for the most part, we can often agree to disagree in the name of the greater good.
I still believe that.
And to be honest, no, I haven’t been subtle on my opinion about the backlash to the proposed updates to the Land Use Element (LUE), the document which guides development throughout the city. I haven’t been subtle…
And, even within my opinions… Even as I always try to provide some form of substantiation for what I argue… Even as I am data-driven, fueled little by anecdotes or conspiracy theories… I may be at fault for helping fuel a fire that doesn’t need to any more doused in anger or misinformation. Hell, even one comment thread between Pro-LUErs and Anti-LUErs had to be stopped, eventually leading to some form of agree-to-disagree with laughter after I was told I was “Mother Teresa in drag.” (Yup, I laughed, too.)
So, I was admittedly saddened after witnessing yet another crowd being led by anit-LUEr Robert Fox, the guy who snatched a microphone at one meeting from utterly harmless City staff trying to answer questions (as well as the one who called for my resignation in the comment thread of this article after pointing out factual errors on public posts, even despite the fact they’re labeled as opinion because I am a courteous writer when even calling out factual errors).
The most saddening aspect beyond the rudeness served to a City representative, whether you agree with her or not, trying to explain an essential document? There were cheers from Long Beachers at the idea of closing our city borders and denying immigrant protection—xenophobia and racism on a disturbingly public display—at a meeting for the LUE.
Director of Development Services for the City of Long Beach Amy Bodek took to Whaley Park to inform (a sea of older white) folks about the LUE. When she said that no update in the plan would result in “no one moving into the city,” the crowd erupted in cheers. During the cheers, one guy yelled, “And no sanctuary city [status]!” that promoted more cheering.
You can watch the video on YouTube, courtesy of LB Report, by clicking here and go to the 4:35 mark to watch what I’m talking about.
Yup, a whole roomful of angry folks cheered at the idea of no one moving into Long Beach because who cares about culture and diversity anyway? Why be a city that welcomes others—the distressed, the immigrants, the creators—when we can just tell everyone they’re just not our kind?
Even KPCC’s coverage, well… It speaks for itself.
There’s really nothing more to say other than it’s disappointing.
There are two remaining meetings regarding the LUE:
- Saturday, October 14, 11-1 PM at Best Western Golden Sails Hotel
6285 Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90803
- Wednesday, October 18, 6-8 PM at Scherer Park
Outdoor tent area adjacent to the Long Beach Police North Division
4891 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, CA